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XXVIII. The Occurrence and 
Co-occurrence of 
Waff a Noun Suffixes 

MARY STRINGER and JOYCE HOTZ 



1. Introduction 

Noun suffixes in Waffa manifest several types of intricate co-occurrence 
restrictions such that a description in terms of affix orders and classes gives 
very little insight into the structure of the system. The method of description 
presented here focuses on an inventory of noun affixes and a statement of 
their occurrence and co-occurrence possibilities. It represents a preliminary 
analysis of text materials collected during two years of field work between 
1962 and 1966. The field work was carried out in the village of Kusing 
under the auspices of the Summer Institute of Linguistics. 1 

The following symbols have been used to aid in the formal description 
of affix occurrence potential: a plus sign indicates concatenation; parentheses 
enclose optional items. 

2. Noun Classes 

Nouns may be divided into two classes on the basis of two sets of suffixes 
for subject and object markers. Noun stem Class I (nsO consists of all 
proper names and certain kin relationships listed below. The subject marker 
for this class is -va and the object/possessive marker is -nna. The possessive 
prefix /- 'your' (singular) will be used with the following examples. 



i-koo-va 


i-koo-nna 


'your father' 


i-noo-va 


i-noo-nna 


'your mother' 


i-vayaa-va 


i-vayaa-nna 


'your elder brother' 



1 This paper, in slightly different format, also appears in Papers on Seven Lan- 
guages of Papua-New Guinea (in press), a publication of the Linguistic Society of 
New Zealand, and is published here by permission. The authors gratefully acknowledge 
the help of Darlene Bee in preparing this paper for publication. 

547 



548 



Part Four: Tairora-Binumarien- Waffa 



i-nnayaa-va 

i-nnaugoo-va 

i-giaayoo-va 

i-nnaaku-va 

i-taato-va 

i-nniraannioo-va 

i-nnummuayaa-va 

i-nnaaputatioo-va 

i-nnaaputuoo- va 

i-nnituoo-va 

i-mmaugiaa-va 

i-tafaayoo-va 



i-nnayaa-nna 

i-nnaugoo-nna 

i-giaayoo-nna 

i-nnaaku-nna 

i-taato-nna 

i-nniraannioo-nna 

l-nnummuayaa-nna 

i-nnaaputatioo-nna 

i-nnaaputuoo-nna 

i-nnituoo-nna 

i-mmaugiaa-nna 

i-tafaayoo-nna 



'your elder sister' 
'your mother's brother' 
4 your mother's sister' 
'your grandfather' 
'your grandmother' 
'your father-in-law' (man's) 
'your mother-in-law' (man's) 
'your father-in-law' (woman's) 
'your mother-in-law' (woman's) 
'your brother-in-law' 
'your sister-in-law' 
'your great grandparents or 
great grandchildren' 



Noun stem Class II (ns 2 ) consists of all other nouns. The subject marker 
is -ivo and the object/possessive marker is -ivaa. The kinship terms which 
occur with this class are listed below. 

younger brother' 

younger sister' 

husband' 

wife' 

daughter-in-law' 

son-in-law' 

son' 

daughter' 

sister's children' 

grandchild' 



i-kata-ivo 


i-kata-ivaa 


'your 


i-nnunna-ivo 


i-nnunna-ivaa 


'your 


i-vaati-ivo 


i-voatiAvaa 


'your 


i-nnaata-ivo 


i-nnaata-ivaa 


'your 


i-nnaaputu-uvo 


i-nnaaputu-uvaa 


'your 


i-nniraapu-uvo 


i-nniraapu-uvaa 


'your 


i-mmaapu-uvo 


i-mmaapu-uvaa 


'your 


i-raunnaAvo 


i-raunna-ivaa 


'your 


i-nnaudi-ivo 


i-nnaudi-ivaa 


'your 


i-nneedi-ivo 


i-nneedi-ivaa 


'your 



3. Nouns as Subject and Object 

The distribution of suffixes will be discussed in terms of five formulas in 
Sections 3, 4, and 5. These formulas will define the occurrence and co- 
occurrence restrictions of the suffixes. Following are two formulas which 
show nouns as subject and object. 

Suffix restrictions may relate to their occurrence or nonoccurrence or to 
their status as optional or obligatory. These restrictions depend on both the 
noun stem class which occurs and on the occurrence of the suffixes. 

Following are the readings of the formulas. 

In formula 1 noun stems (ns) from both Class I (nsi) and Class II 
(ns 2 ) can occur alone or with the subject or object suffixes. These suffixes 
are obligatory when followed by further suffixation. The subject, object, 
referent, and nonreferent specifier suffixes can be followed by -nanaa 'first' or 



XXVIII. Waff a 


Noun 


Suffixes 






Formula I: 














S 
O 
Ref 

Non-RS 


+ 




nanaa 

( ) 
Md 




S 












(nanaa) 


ns ± 




+ 




( ta 


+ 


) 


O 












(ma) 


s 




+ 




(noo) 














rat 






o 




+ 




( ni 
si + 


(diriO 


) + (nanaa) 



549 



Formula 2: 

ns2 =b O -h A>/2 + (nanaa) 

by the mood suffixes. The subject and object suffixes can also be followed by 
the accompaniment suffix -ta plus the optional suffix -ma which acts almost 
like an adverbialiser. The suffix -nanaa 'first' can also follow the accompani- 
ment suffix -ta. Only subject suffixes can be followed by the indicative suffix 
-noo and only object suffixes can be followed by -ra x the reference suffix, or 
by -ni the benefactive suffix, or by -si 'to 1 (of persons) plus the optional 
suffix -dirii 'from'. The suffix -nanaa 'first' can also follow these suffixes which 
follow the object suffixes. 

Formula 2 shows affix restriction on noun stem Class II. The noun stem 
can occur alone or with the object suffixes which are obligatory to the instru- 
ment suffix -dirh which can also be followed by -nanaa 'first'. 

Symbols and morphemes are discussed in the order in which they appear 
when the formulas are read from left to right. 

Following are the descriptions of suffixes occurring in the above formulas. 

3.1. Subject Marker (S) 

3.1.1. Class I 

-va singular: ni-noo-va vi-ra-vai (my-mother-subject go-far-past-stative) 
'My mother went/ 

Plural is shown on kinship terms by the formation of the stem. This is 
described in Section 6 at the end of this paper. 

3.1.2. Class II 

-ivo singular: puara-ivo yenna-ivaa nna-i-noo (pig subject 
food-object eat-3rd-sing-indicative) 'The pig is eating food.' 

-iyauvo plural collective. This suffix is used more specifically when referring 



550 Part Four: Tairora-Binumarien-Waffa 

to a group but it is also used as a general plural: ni yaaki-iyauvo taka-i-vai 
(my sugar-cane-pl-collective break-3rd-sing-stative) 'My sugar cane is 
broken.' 

ido plural inclusive. This suffix is used only when referring to an included 
group: kiaatanna-ido vi-da kiaa-vai (girls-plural-inclusive go-pl action- 
sequence-completive-stative) 'All the girls have gone/ 

-iyd 1 plural collective with animate (-iyauvo can also be used for the ani- 
mate): vaidi-iya kua-a-noo (man-pl-collective go-2nd-and-3rd-pl-indica- 
tive) The men are going/ 

3.2. Object/ Possessive Marker (O) 

3.2.1. Class! 

-nna singular: meree-nna ruputua-nee (Mary-object hit-imperative-singu- 
lar) 'Hit Mary!' itai-nna nnau-vai (man's-name-possessive-house-stative) 
it is Itai's house/ 

3.2.2. Class/! 

-ivaa singular: na suruu-voo vara-u-vai(\ bow-objectget-lst-sing-stative) 
i got the bow/ ni vaidi-ivaa fai-vaa taa-nee (my man-possessive dog- 
object look-imperative-singular) 'Look at my man's dog/ 

-iyauvaa plural collective: ni yaaki-iyauvaa taa-nee (my sugar -cane -pi - 
collective see-imperative-singular) 'Look at my sugar cane/ 

iya plural collective on animate (-iyauvaa can also occur on the animate): 
vaidi-iya puara-iya hatoka-a-vai (man-pl-collective pig-object cut-2nd-and 
3rd-pl-stative) 'The men cut up the pigs/ ta vaidi-iya puara-iyauvaa hatoka- 
a-vai (we man-pl-poss pig-pl -collective cut-2nd-and-3rd-pl-stative) 'We cut 
up the men's pigs/ 

-idaa plural inclusive: na sikau-daa vara-u-vai (I stone -(money) -pi - 
inclusive get-lst-sing-stative) T got all the money/ 

3.3. Referent (Ref) 

-vat singular; -vai-tana dual; -yauvi plural: This suffix points out the sub- 
ject or object specifically referred to in a construction. It has been noted 
that a referent does not occur as the subject of a transitive verb. The singu- 
lar form does not occur with nsi. 

Examples of ns^ i-nayaa-kia-vai-tana kua-a-noo (your-sister-pl-Ref-dual 
go-2nd-and-3rd-pl-indicative) 'Your two sisters are going.' i-nayaa-kia- 
yauvi kua-a-noo (your-sister-pl-Ref-pl go-2nd-and-3rd-pl-indicative) 'Your 
sisters are going.' 

Examples of ns2: fayai-vai ngiau kua-i-noo (animal-Ref-sing upwards 
go-3rd-sing-indicative) 'The animal went up.' fay ai-vai-tana ngiau kua-a-noo 

2 u + / results in the / changing to w. au + / results in the omission of /. noo 
causes length on the preceding vowel. 



XX VI II. Waff a Noun Suffixes 551 

(animal-Ref-sing-dual upwards go-3rd-pl-indicative) Two animals went 
up/ ni yaaki-iyauvo takai-yauvi oro rai-nara (my sugar -cane-Subject-pl- 
collective break-Ref-pl go-up tie-fut-sing) 'I will go up and tie up my sugar 
cane which broke/ 

-da is a plural referent specifier suffix which seems to be used when the 
number of things referred to is in focus. The number is general and could 
refer to four or more things: ngiaammuau-da kua-a-noo (boy-Ref-pl-speci- 
fier go-3rd-pl-indicative) The boys are going (a specific number of boys 
previously in focus).' na seera-da utua-u-noo (I stick-Ref-pl-specifier hold- 
1 st -sing-indicative) 'I am holding the pencils.' 

3.4. Nonreferent Specifier (Non-RS) 

-ruta singular; -ruta-tana dual; -rupara plural. This suffix behaves in the 
same manner as the referent and the tentative name of Nonreferent speci- 
fier has been given to it. It seems to point out a subject or object of special 
importance which has not been discussed in the course of the conversation. 
When suffixed to noun stems of Class I, the subject and object markers are 
obligatory with proper names. Proper names therefore provide an exception 
to formula 1 . 

Examples of nsi: meree-va-tuta kua-i-noo (Mary-subject -Non-RS go- 
3rd-sing-indicative) 'It is Mary going.' i-nayaa-kia-ruta-tana kua-a-noo 
(your-sister-pl-Non-RS-dual go-2nd and 3rd-indicative) 'It is your two 
sisters going.' i-nayaa-kia-rupara kua-a-noo (your-sister-pl-Non-RS-pl go- 
2nd-and 3 rd-pl -indicative) Tt is your sisters going.' 

Examples of ns 2 : ikia vo saaba-ruta ni mia-nee (firewood limiter bundle- 
Non-RS me give-imperative-sing) 'Give me a bundle of firewood.' ikia vo 
saaba-ruta-tana ni mia-nee (firewood limiter bundle-Non-RS-dual me give- 
imperative-sing) 'Give me two bundles of firewood.' ikia vo saaba-rupara 
ni mia-nee (firewood limiter bundle-Non-RS me give-imperative-sing) 'Give 
me bundles of firewood.' 

-nanaa 'first': meree-va-nanaa kua-i-noo (Mary-subject-first go-3rd-sing- 
indicative) 'Mary is going first.' 

3.5. Mood (Md) 

-vee indicative; -nnee interrogative. These suffixes can also occur on 
verbal constructions: meree-va-vee (Mary-subject-indicative) it is Mary.' 
vaidi-ivo-vee (man-subject-indicative) 'It is a man.' meree-va-nnee (Mary- 
subject-interrogative) Ts it Mary?' vaidi-ivo-nnee vara gioonna-ivo-nnee 
(man-subject-interrogative or woman-subject-interrogative) is it a man or 
is it a woman?' 

~ta accompaniment. The suffix -ma can occur following -ta. -ma shows 
a close relationship to the following verb and is almost an adverbialiser: 
ivo ari-vaati-ivoo-ta-ma kua-a-noo (she her-husband-subject-accompani- 



552 



Part Four: Tairora-Binumarien-Waffa 



ment-adverbializer go-3rd-pl-indicative) 'She and her husband are going.' 

-noo indicative. The difference between -vee indicative and -noo indica- 
tive is that -vee marks the predicate slot and -noo marks the subject slot: 
apoo-vaa-noo ti-i-vai (man's-name-subject-indicative say-3rd-sing-stative) 
'Apoo spoke.' 

-rai reference indicates the person or thing referred to, spoken to, or 
spoken about: puara-ivaa-ra kua kia-a-noo (pig-object-about talk say-2nd/ 
3rd-pl-indicative) They are talking about a pig.' 

-ni benefactive: nniaammuau-ya-ni iikia-a-noo (boys-object-benefactive 
work-2nd/3rd -pi -indicative They are doing it for the benefit of the boys.' 

-si 'to' occurs in both noun classes with noun stems referring to persons 
only: rneree-nna-si kua-nee (Mary-object-to go-imperative-singular) 'Go 
to Mary.' gioonna-ivaa-si kua-nee (woman-object -to go-imperative-singular) 
'Go to the woman.' 

-diri\ 'from' (direction). The free variant -di is also used: nnau-vaki-di 
nni-i-vai (house-in-from come-3rd-sing-stative) 'He (she, it) came from 
in the house.' meree-nna-si-diri nni-i-vai (Mary-object-to-from come-3rd- 
sing-stative) 'He came from Mary (from where Mary was).' 

-dirk instrument. The free variant -di is also used: na veeva-ivaa-di 
ruputua-u-vai (I arrow-object sing-instrument hit-(kill)-lst-sing-stative) 
i killed it with an arrow.' 

With the instrument suffix the object suffix can be shown only by the -a 
morpheme. Both forms are used and it has not yet been determined if there 
is a significant reason for this: na veeva-a-diri ruputua-u-vai (I arrow-object- 
sing-instrument hit-lst-sing-stative) T killed it with an arrow.' 

4. Nouns as Location and Direction 

Following is formula 3 which shows the occurrence and co-occurrence 
restrictions of noun stems with location and directional suffixes. 



Formula 3: 

ivaki 

(kieta) +ki 



(nnai) + nni 
-f naa + {nni) 
ra 2 



nS2 ± nai + (nm) + ra 2 

ivau 



ngiaa 
± ( ) +(dirii) -\-{nanaa) 

gietaa 



yaa 
inataa 
nni 
na 



The Languages of the Eastern 
Family of the East New Guinea 
Highland Stock 



Edited by HOWARD McKAUGHAN 



This book is published with the assistance of a grant from the National Science 
Foundation. 

Copyright © 1973 by the University of Washington Press 
Printed in the United States of America 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in 
any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, 
or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from 
the publisher. 



Anthropological Studies 

in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea 

James B. Watson, Editor 

VOLUMES PUBLISHED: 

I. The Languages of the Eastern Family of the East New Guinea Highland 
Stock, edited by Howard McKaughan 

II. Physical Anthropology of the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea, 
by R. A. Littlewood 



Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 
Main entry under title: 

The Languages of the eastern family of the east 
New Guinea highland stock. 

(Anthropological studies in the eastern highlands 
of New Guinea, v. 1) 

Reports of research by the New Guinea Micro- 
evolution Project. 

Bibliography: p. 

1. Papuan languages. 2. Kainantu region — 
Languages. I. McKaughan, Howard, 1922- 
II. Title. III. Series. 

PL660LA35 499M2 72-13131 

ISBN 0-295-95 132-X 



ed. 



UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PRESS 
SEATTLE AND LONDON